Partners since 2017, Richard Mille and British supercar maker McLaren Automotive are announcing today the result of their most ambitious collaboration project to date, the new RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail. The new timepiece celebrates the fastest and most advanced road car ever produced by McLaren, the Speedtail, a three-seat grand tourer whose lines are based on the form of a teardrop, the most aerodynamically efficient shape found in nature.
The aerodynamic design of this supercar provided the inspiration for the development of the RM 40-01.
The two brands share a similar approach in designing their products with a strong focus on saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimising resistance.
The development of the RM 40-01 required exceptional efforts. Just imagine that it took Richard Mille’s casing department an unprecedented 2,800 hours spread over 18 months just to perfect the lines. The attention to detail is extreme, with mirror polished, plain and satinised effects in different areas and the combined use of titanium and Carbon TPT. Made from 69 individual parts, the 41.80 x 48.25 x 14.15 mm case is significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock. A further taper can be noticed between the titanium bezel and case back, which are separated by a caseband made from Carbon TPT and unequal length titanium pillars. Thanks to 2 Nitrile O-ring seals, the tripartite case ensures water resistance to 50 metres / 165 feet.
To protect the RM 40-01’s movement, Richard Mille developed a unique upper crystal glass featuring a ‘triple contour’ to account for the decreasing taper and thickness of the bezel.
Beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offering 50 hours of autonomy, the CRMT4 calibre introduces the first in-house development of a power reserve display as well as the oversize date and function selector complications. All of which are firsts at Richard Mille on an in-house tourbillon. The pusher at 4 o’clock allows one to select the neutral, winding and hand-setting functions with a simple push in a manner similar to a car’s gearbox while the aperture at 3 o’clock shows the function selected: N (Neutral) – W (Winding) – H (Hand Setting).
The finishing is applied not only to visible parts but also to parts that are hidden, such as the lower component surfaces.
Although more technically complex, the date corrector was positioned at 8 o’clock to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing solution. The platinum and red gold winding rotor is inspired by the Speedtail’s bonnet and the barrel-setting by its roof line. The orange line running from the lower part of the movement and on to the strap mimics the vertical stoplight mounted in the Speedtail’s rear screen. The asymmetrical rubber strap is produced using a special process that enables coloured rubber to be over-moulded – so allowing the iconic McLaren orange accent coloured stripe seen at 6 o’clock on the movement to extend to the wrist.
Richard Mille has just revealed its latest watch that’s part of its ongoing partnership with McLaren. This new watch is named the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon and was made to honor McLaren’s fastest hypercar produced — the Speedtail.
This watch is the culmination of 8,600 hours of movement development, 18 months of case design, and numerous shock tests and prototypes. Salvador Arbona, movement technical director, comments, “The complexity of the components, the multitude of details and, above all, the attention applied to the finishing place the RM 40-01 firmly at the peak of Swiss-made watches. The rims, for example, are buff-polished and the progressive angles – among other elements – and the bevellings are gradual hand-polished.
Containing 672 components, the RM 40-01 is made with materials like Grade 5 titanium, platinum, red gold, Carbon TPT. Replicating the hypercar’s aerodynamic teardrop shape, the case transitions from wide to thick from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock with a triple contour to account for the decreasing taper and thickness of the bezel — the case alone has 69 individual parts.
Set to commemorate the 106 McLaren Speedtails manufactured, Richard Mille will be producing 106 RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail watches which retail at 900,000 CHF each